People Unclear

I’m posting enough of these I need to recognize a series. This is number 12.

I get a bunch of my story ideas from Facebook. Let me restate that. I get almost all my story ideas from Facebook. This one came through my feed yesterday, courtesy of a Facebook friend. See the image. It’s a screen shot from Facebook, and I’ve turned down the brightness so  you can read the name of the originating publication at the bottom. It’s TheFederalist.com. And here’s what’s interesting.

The lined story was posted by Bre Payton, who is a staff writer covering culture and millennial politics, and she has some interesting things to say about the just started trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey:

Media Won’t Talk About Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s Corruption Trial

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s upcoming corruption trial has gotten very little attention from members of the media. When they do talk about it, they like to leave out the fact he’s a Democrat.

And that is strange on two levels. First, the media—meaning mean stream news outlets—pay little attention to (do not report much on) the Senator Menendez trial. Second, when they do talk about it, they neglect to mention that Menendez is a Democrat. Double strange, because double false.

Mainstream media have been reporting on the Menendez trial. CNN:

Newark, New Jersey (CNN)As he walked into the federal courthouse in New Jersey, Sen. Bob Menendez became emotional.

Speaking to reporters gathered in the rain Wednesday, he appeared to choke back tears as his son and daughter stood by his side.
“Never, not once, not once have I dishonored my public office,” said Menendez, a Democrat.

ABC:

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford” by accepting luxury trips and other favors from a wealthy doctor seeking political influence, a government prosecutor told jurors Wednesday during opening statements of the Democrat’s corruption trial.

CBS:

A federal prosecutor said Wednesday the case against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is about a corrupt politician who, “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford, and a greedy eye doctor,” CBS News’ Pat Milton and Erica Brown report.

Prosecutor Peter Koski methodically and meticulously laid out the U.S. government’s corruption case against 63-year-old Menendez, a Democrat, who is charged with accepting bribes including lavish vacations and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor, in exchange for political influence and favors to advance his business interests.

NBC:

WASHINGTON — The first U.S. senator to face bribery charges in nearly four decades goes on trial Wednesday in a case that could affect the Senate’s partisan makeup and the fate of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.

Robert Menendez, a Democrat in his 12th year as a senator from New Jersey, is charged with using his influence to do favors for a Florida eye doctor accused of overbilling Medicare. In return, prosecutors say, the doctor treated Menendez to “a lavish lifestyle that included private jet rides and vacations in Paris and the Caribbean.”

The New York Times:

Since his indictment more than two years ago, Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence, and last week he reiterated that. “I am going to be exonerated,” he said in a brief interview on Wednesday with reporters following a rally protesting President Trump’s immigration policies.

I am not too sure how many of these mainstream media sources I am supposed to name in order to reveal that mainstream media are covering the Menendez trial. And they are calling him a Democrat. And they have been calling him a democrat for years. From The New York Times, 7 March 2015:

For decades, Senator Robert Menendez has been one of the immovable objects of New Jersey politics. Even now, staring down expected criminal charges, the Democratic lawmaker has vowed not to give way.

So, what am I missing here? I suspect what I am missing is that Bre Payton, who reports on culture and millennial politics, has now taken a turn at writing about the news—without first reading the news.

I am guessing some of the people who commented on the Facebook post are in the same situation. Here are some comments on Facebook, without naming names:

It wouldn’t surprise me if the piece is right about it being under-reported, especially the fact that he is a Democrat. Like the author says, the NY Times piece neglected to say he was a Democrat until it was edited a few hours later, and even then it was placed in the fourth paragraph. I would lay odds that if Menendez had been a Republican, the Times would have featured that fact much more prominently, maybe even in the title.

Imagine if he were a hated Republican. It would be a top story and the only story in many cases. As things are everyone expects that Democrats lie cheat and steal so it’s not news.

Imagine if you were actually adding something to the conversation rather than spouting off emotionally charged nonsense…

Hmmmm…. So you don’t think that pointing out the contrast between the way that “the media” treats republicans and democrats is adding anything. It’s not nonsense because it’s true. It’s also not emotionally charged, just a simple observation. Just trying to understand. You must be one of those that thinks that there is no real difference in the way that the media treats public figures. Either that or you think that all republicans are bad and so deserved to be treated differently. Which is it?

Apparently a bit of persecution complex is showing. To paraphrase, “The mainstream heads won’t hype the dirt unless it’s about a Republican.” For “Republican” you can substitute “conservative” or “Christian” or “white person.”

For the record, I’ve been on the story for several years:

This is another one of those posts. Sometimes (often times) people just don’t seem to get the point. In this case it’s Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey:

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors charged Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and wealthy donor Salomon Melgen on Wednesday with participating in a long-running bribery scheme.

New Jersey’s senior senator used his office to benefit the Florida eye doctor in exchange for nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions, prosecutors say.

68-page indictment outlines 14 criminal counts against Menendez, 61, including eight counts of bribery. Melgen, a 61-year-old West Palm Beach, Fla., ophthalmologist, faces 13 counts, also including eight bribery counts.

That’s from 2 April 2015. Maybe Bre Payton needs to follow my blog.

To be sure, Bre Payton’s story posted to The Federalist pointed out that The New York Times was slow coming around to the fact that Menendez is a Democrat:

On Sunday, The New York Times published a 1,288-word article about the trial, which begins Wednesday, without once mentioning Menendez’s political party affiliation. The newspaper of record then stealth-edited the piece hours later. The updated version identifies the New Jersey senator once in the fourth paragraph as a Democrat.

I like the phrase “stealth-edited.” Stealthy. In the middle of the night. When nobody was looking. So nobody would notice the Times was trying to play favorites. Good try, Payton, and welcome to the world of real news. If you worked for a real news outlet you would know it works something like this:

Editor: Nick [Corasaniti], did you write this? (Of course he did.)

Nick: Yes (gulp), sir.

Editor: I just read it. It’s already on the streets. You failed to mention Menendez is a Democrat.

Nick: Oops!

Editor: Fix it right now. Fix the on-line edition and print a correction in today’s edition.

I would like to contrast that with how things are done in the not-so-mainstream media:

The conspiracy-choked story of Seth Rich’s killing has made a sudden comeback thanks to Fox News, but the latest reporting seems to have generated more controversy than credibility.

Rich’s family is demanding a retraction from Fox for airing unsubstantiated claims about the Democratic National Committee staffer, whose death last year generated a wild river of theories and innuendo about who was behind it.

Fox’s latest reporting on the unsolved crime has an odd twist: Much of its work relies on a private investigator who is also a Fox News contributor. The investigator, in turn, is being funded by a frequent Fox News guest.

I would not bother to bring up this item, except that with Fox News this has been the modus operandi for much of its existence. Please do not ask me to cite additional examples, and I will not ask you to read them when I post them.

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Industrial Strength Irony

Number 3 In A Series

Irony is a remarkable substance. Always a source of wonder. You may know the garden variety, but for those who really appreciate it there is the industrial strength. Nobody supplies that brand more reliably than the Donald Trump family:

Ivanka Trump surprised by ‘viciousness,’ ‘ferocity’ of father’s critics

By Cody Derespina Published June 12, 2017 Fox News

Ivanka Trump, in an interview Monday with “Fox & Friends,” said she has been surprised by the “viciousness” and “ferocity” that greeted her father’s presidency — but also said President Trump felt “very vindicated” by former FBI Director James Comey’s recent Senate testimony.

Ivanka, a political novice like her dad who has been thrust into the Washington spotlight as a senior adviser to the president, nevertheless glided past the more controversial interview topics like a seasoned vet Monday. But she did provide a glimpse into the first family’s daily battle with detractors.

Yes, that is shocking. Truly shocking. Not only shocking, but also dripping with industrial strength irony. Holy pudding-fest, Miss Sweet Cheeks, where have you been vacationing? They have a Trump golf resort on Mars already? Let me bring you down to Earth:

To put this into perspective, Melania Trump is telling Anderson Cooper (from a CNN clip) about the audio recording 11 years ago that features Billy Bush (NBC) and Donald Trump discussing the rewards of fame and success. Trump is exceptionally graphic and forthcoming in his description. He tells Bush that being rich and famous allows him to grab interesting women by the pussy and get away with it. Melania dismisses this as just “boy talk.” She alludes (outright asserts?) that Bush egged Trump on, coaxing him to say these things. This flying in the face of what is obvious. Donald Trump volunteered his experiences without any egging from Bush.

Oh, the humanity, the viciousness:

Self-obsessed billionaire Donald Trump earlier snatched the campaign torch from the Republican Party by scooping up conservative America’s low-hanging fruit. Full disclosure: it’s something I proclaimed over a year ago could not be done. I was wrong! How wrong? Very wrong. Donald Trump is the one candidate who displays an astonishing degree of class:

In the article, I wrote that Trump could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman said the man’s comments were “categorically untrue.”

The story ran below the fold in the business news section with the headline: How a Curious Visitor Beat Trump at the Casino Game.

And now I was holding for Mr. Trump.

There was no hello. But there was yelling, lots of yelling.

The word “shit” was used repeatedly as a noun and adjective.

I had shit for brains.

I worked for a shitty newspaper.

What sort of shit did I write.

Before I could reply, he hung up.

Then he called my editor in Philadelphia, Craig Stock. Now it was Craig’s turn to “Hold for Mr. Trump.”

Craig was treated to the same Trumpian wordplay, but got an added treat. Trump referred to me as “that cunt.”

Craig, a calm Iowan, asked Trump what was wrong with the story. He explained that The Inquirer would run a correction if the paper had made an error.

Trump snapped that he didn’t read the story.

“No one reads the story,” the 41-year-old blustered. “I read the headline and I didn’t like it.”

Craig suggested that he read the story, then call him back if there were any problems.

He did not hear back from Trump.

See what I mean? Sterling character such as this is wasted on the presidency. Donald Trump needs to run for Pope.

But… But that was before The Donald entered into politics, where such conduct would be viewed as unseemly.

Bear with me, my heart is in the comfort zone there with sweet Ivanka, and I must pause till it come back to me.

It’s back. With industrial strength irony.

How It’s Done

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Here’s how it’s done. On Wednesday Fox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier broke a story that was absolutely devastating to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Here’s what he had to  say (from the YouTube video):

Published on Nov 3, 2016

Video Transcript:

BRET BAIER: Two separate sources with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigations into the Clinton emails and the Clinton Foundation tell Fox the following: The investigation looking into possible pay-for-play interaction between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Foundation has been going on for more than a year. The Clinton Foundation investigation is a, “very high priority.” Agents have interviewed and reinterviewed multiple people about the Foundation case, and even before the WikiLeaks dumps, these sources said agents had collected a great deal of evidence. Pressed on that, one sources said, “a lot of it,” and “there is an avalanche of new information coming in every day.” As a result of the limited immunity deals to a number of top aides, including Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, the Justice Department had tentatively agreed that the FBI would destroy those laptops after a narrow review. We are told definitively that has not happened. Those devices are currently in the FBI field office here in Washington, D.C. and are being exploited. There has been some angst about Attorney General Loretta Lynch and what she has done or not done. She obviously did not impanel or go to a grand jury at the beginning. They also have a problem, these sources do, with what President Obama said today and back in October of 2015.

[Fox News Senior Political Analyst] BRIT HUME: We’ll get to that later on but he downplayed it today. He said something that suggested he’s changed his tune a bit about [FBI] Director Comey. This does not sound like something that’s going to be completed anytime soon, which suggests that if Hillary Clinton is elected, she will take office with not one but two serious investigations of her past conduct hanging over her.

BAIER: Definitely. And I pressed again and again on this very issue and these sources said, “Yes, the investigations will continue, there is a lot of evidence.” And barring some obstruction in some way, they believe they will continue to likely an indictment.

Category News & Politics

License Standard YouTube License

That is so interesting. And so damning. There is little doubt Hillary Clinton has been caught with her hand in the cookie jar and is headed for big trouble, elected or not. Let’s parse what came out Wednesday on Fox News.

First, Fox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier announced career-shattering revelations. He cited FBI sources (not named). The words “Clinton Foundation scandal” flashed on the screen. This language was not found in the transcript of the video, but somebody at Fox News saw it important to use “Clinton Foundation” and “scandal” in the same sentence, carrying the presumption there is a scandal related to the Clinton Foundation.

There is talk of “limited immunity deals to a number of top aides, including Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson.”

politics-trumpbretbaierfoxnews-04

Baier relates information he has obtained from his anonymous sources. A lot of it is damning.

Fox News Senior Political Analyst Brit Hume, who sits at the anchor desk with Baier, interprets what has just been said. His conclusion is that Clinton will face serious charges after she is elected.

Baier concludes “barring some obstruction in some way,” presuming there might be obstruction from the administration, Obama’s or Clinton’s. He says his sources believe there will be an indictment (barring any obstruction).

All of this would be very bad for Clinton’s plan to become president-elect on Tuesday. Very bad, indeed, if any of it were true:

Fox News anchor Bret Baier apologized Friday for reporting that federal investigators had determined that Hillary Clinton’s private email server had been hacked and that an investigation would lead to an indictment of Clinton after the election.

In fact, Baier said, after checking with his sources, there is no evidence at this time for either statement.

On Friday, ABC World News Tonight summarized the sorry episode. The 30-minute news segment cruelly replayed Bret Baier’s on-air fiasco. I captured the story in a sequence  of screen shots. First the retraction, which may or may not have been painful.

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Reporter: Trump ripping the headline and running with it.

Trump: “There is more breaking news that I would like to share with you right now. The FBI agents say their investigation is likely to yield an indictment.”

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Reporter: But the story was soon discredited. Still Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, unfazed when asked if he would correct the record.

Conway: Well, the damage is done to Hillary Clinton, no matter how it’s being termed.

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Reporter: Today Fox News anchor Bret Baier apologized for reporting an indictment was likely, saying, “It was a mistake, and for that I am sorry.”

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Reporter: But Trump, still pushing the discredited story. “Hillary is now facing major problems with perjury. The FBI agents say their investigation is likely to yield perhaps an indictment.”

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Reporter: Today at a Trump rally in New Hampshire, another sign of just how ugly the race has gotten, this crass joke from former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu.

Sununu: Do you think Bill was referring to Hillary when he said, “I did not have sex with that woman?”

politics-trumpabcnews04nov2016falsestory-06

Wow! That last was just icing on the cake. Sununu, as some of will recall, was previously chief of staff to President George H. W. Bush and is a noted conservative firebrand.

And all this has been fun to for me to watch,  because I recently stepped through a Facebook conversation with some conservative correspondents. It started with a posting cautioning us to not be so “offended by what Trump said in private.” This is in reference to the audio from 2005 revealing some of Trumps coarse comments on women and what he could get away with because he was rich and famous.

politics-trumpfacebookposttessaparkergroping

I chimed in and had this to say:

Tessa talks about what Donald Trump says in private. Let’s talk about what he says in public. Many of these statements were made on the campaign trail in a bid to get a certain segment of the population to vote for him. Don’t be part of that segment:
3. “Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”
8. “If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’”
14. “My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”
16. “I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”
17. “You’re disgusting.”
To put this into context, Donald Trump said this to the opposing lawyer during a court case when she asked for a medical break to pump breast milk for her three-month-old daughter.
24. “Look at those hands, are they small hands? And, [Republican rival Marco Rubio] referred to my hands: ‘If they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”
Along with the petition to keep him out of the UK, can we also campaign for Trump to stop talking about his penis?
2. Says John McCain isn’t a hero
“He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off-base.”
“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that — the face of our next president!?”
I have more.
Full disclosure. I voted for Hillary Clinton in early voting last week. In March I voted for Donald Trump in the Texas primary, because I wanted to make sure Clinton would run against Trump rather than a candidate with a possibility of winning. We will see how that works out.

That brought some reaction, leading to this curious bit:

Tessa Parker Lol John Blanton. My case in point To much of one thing and no verity is not good for the mind and soul. To reiterate stop watching CNN. Lol. To much CNN makes you lean left to much Fox News makes you lean right. Stay balanced.

We should watch Fox News to  stay balanced? Yes, I’ve heard this kind of talk before. We should teach evolution in public schools, but for balance we should tell students about Intelligent  Design and other alternatives to evolution. Mentally, I have extended the argument:

  • Scientists have made a good case for anthropogenic global warming, but some, including Donald Trump, think global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to wreck the American economy.
  • The story is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone killing President Kennedy. People should also pay attention to what Oliver Stone had to say about it.
  • Popular media parrot the story that 19 hijackers perpetrated the attacks on 11 September 2001, but others, such as Thierry Meyssan have an explanation we should explore.
  • Yes, the Earth is more or less round. But there are those who think it is flat.

How’s that for balance? Yes, despite the adulation from a segment of American society, any resemblance of Fox News to a straight news organization would be coincidental.

It remains curious what went on here:

  • Bret Baier talked to people within the FBI and has obtained previously unknown information.
  • These people are not identified.
  • Baier came on-air on Fox News and told the story as though it were true.
  • Donald Trump picked up the story and ran with it.
  • Somebody noticed a problem, and it  turned out Baier’s story is false. He retracted the story on-air.
  • Fox campaign manager Kellyanne Conway did not denounce the story, explaining that the damage has already been done (and it would be pointless to say more—my words).
  • Donald Trump keeps running with the story, because it’s good for his campaign. And why get involved with the truth after all these years?

Yes, I’m beginning to  see how it’s done.

Friday Funny

One of a series

Politics-EmilyAusteMexicansSmart

That image is apparently a screen shot from YouTube. It was posted on Raw Story, and it shows former Fox sports reporter Emily Austen. So, what’s funny about that? I will let Raw Story provide the details:

Reporter Emily Austen has been taken off the air by Fox Sports after she was caught on video making racist comments about Mexican, Jewish and Chinese people.

While participating in a Facebook video broadcast for Barstool Sports, the 27-year-old sports reporter and others appearing on the show mocked 18-year-old Mayte Lara Ibarra, who recently revealed that she was her high school’s valedictorian and an undocumented immigrant.

“I didn’t even know Mexicans were that smart,” Austen quipped to her co-hosts during the Barstool Sports broadcast.

Booted from Fox for extraordinary display of stupidity? Now that’s funny.

Murdoch’s World

FoxNews

I’m cleaning out my box of old story ideas. A lot of stuff has grown stale waiting for review and is being tossed. A lot of stuff has grown stale and is being posted anyhow. Here’s one:

NPR media reporter claims that Fox News reporters would covertly post “pro-Fox rants” in blog comments sections

It’s been said that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Except, maybe, when your PR team uses iffy techniques to combat bad publicity.

In his new book “Murdoch’s World,” NPR media reporter David Folkenflik claims that Fox News Channel public relations staffers have used bogus commenter accounts to counter negative blog posts and comments about the network on the internet, Media Matters reports.

From the book:

On the blogs, the fight was particularly fierce. Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account. Another used an AOL dial-up connection, even in the age of widespread broadband access, on the rationale it would be harder to pinpoint its origins. Old laptops were distributed for these cyber operations. Even blogs with minor followings were reviewed to ensure no claim went unchecked.

Folkenflik, David (2013-10-22). Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires (p. 67). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.

From Wikipedia:

David Folkenflik is an American reporter based in New York City and serving as media correspondent for National Public Radio. His work primarily appears on the NPR news programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He also appears regularly on the “Media Circus” segment on Talk of the Nation.

From NPR:

Geraldo Rivera of the Fox News Channel once described David Folkenflik as “a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter.” Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, gave him a “laurel” for his reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.

Yes, it really does take all kinds.

Folkenflik provides some explanation in an author’s note. The company discussed is News Corporation, a concern managed by Rupert Murdoch:

News Corp and the Murdoch family made a conscious decision not to cooperate directly in the preparation of this book and actively discouraged others from doing so. That said, I have always found the company to be professional in my interactions with it and have endeavored to round out my reporting and understanding of the events described here in other ways. In particular, I am deeply appreciative of the many current and former News Corp executives and journalists in three countries who have taken time to offer insight, details, and guidance for this book.

Folkenflik, David (2013-10-22). Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires . PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.

The fate of Murdoch’s News of the World was the result of circumstances that came to light four years ago:

In July 2011, News Corp closed down the News of the World newspaper in the United Kingdom due to allegations of phone hackings. The allegations include trying to access former Prime Minister Gordon Brown‘s voice mail, and obtain information from his bank accounts, family’s medical records, and private legal files. Allegations of hacking have also been brought up in relation to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the Royal Family. Other allegations put out by The Guardian newspaper include the exploitation, with intent to gain access to or use private information, of a list of 4,332 names or partial names, 2,987 mobile phone numbers, 30 audio tapes of varying length and 91 PIN codes, of a kind required to access the voicemail of the minority of targets who change the factory settings on their mobile phones. The names are said to include those of British victims of 11 September 2001 terror attacks, family members of victims of the“7/7” bombings on London’s transit system, family members of British troops killed overseas, Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old missing British girl who was later found dead, actor Hugh Grant and a lawyer representing the family of Princess Diana’s lover at the inquest into her death.

NationalGeographic

In recent news, Rupert Murdoch has spread his empire into more respectable reading:

Ever since it was launched from the temple-like headquarters of the National Geographic Society in Washington in 1888, National Geographic magazine has illuminated the world’s hidden places and revealed its natural wonders.

On Wednesday, the iconic ­yellow-bordered magazine, beset by financial issues, entered its own uncharted territory. In an effort to stave off further decline, the magazine was effectively sold by its nonprofit parent organization to a for-profit venture whose principal shareholder is one of Rupert Murdoch’s global media companies.

In exchange for $725 million, the National Geographic Society passed the troubled magazine and its book, map and other media assets to a partnership headed by 21st Century Fox, the Murdoch-controlled company that owns the 20th Century Fox movie studio, the Fox television network and Fox News Channel.

Full disclosure: This household has been a subscriber to National Geographic for over 30 years. We look forward to reading the good news that anthropogenic global warming is a sinister hoax by left-leaning scientists.

Dogfight

From The History Channel

From The History Channel

As a student of the history of combat I am as keen on a fierce dogfight as the next person. Last night I tuned in at 8 p.m., but I didn’t watch to the end. I picked up the remaining details from the morning news on CNN.

I did catch the hysterical first moments. Who did not see this coming? Moderator Bret Baier led off with the question everybody wanted to hear and everybody knew the answer: “If you are not the Republican nominee will you support the nominee? Raise your hand if you will not support the nominee if it is not you.” Gotcha!

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Those are not Baier’s exact words, but that’s what he asked. Anticipation ran like an electric current through the Cleveland audience and within a certain living room in San Antonio. And the answer was every Democratic candidate’s dream. Only Donald Trump raised his hand. Thank you, God. Thank you, thank you. And thank you, Mr. Trump. May Jesus have mercy on your soul.

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The Donald was The Donald last night, tearing into moderator Megan Kelly for having the temerity to question his abusive language toward a number of women. Megan, join the list of those who failed to scrape properly and are now on the Great Grudge List.

There was some excitement after that. In particular there was noticeable tension between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky. Senator Paul is a noted libertarian. Libertarians are, as is well known, like conservatives, only with a bong. In particular, for libertarians civil liberties are a big deal. Rand Paul has come out all against the unlimited monitoring of Internet and phone traffic that was previously exercised by the NSA. Governor Christie, on the other hand, would rather see us a little more red than dead. There was an exchange. Fingers were pointed. It was fun to watch.

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Especially shining was Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He was on message, he was articulate, he was straight-spoken. It was almost possible to forget that he lacks a body of knowledge taught in public high schools:

Rubio is among many Republicans who have deferred to claiming “I’m not a scientist” to dodge questions about their position on climate change. Rubio may even be responsible for coining the phrase, telling GQ in 2012 that he’s unable to determine the actual age of the earth because, “I’m not a scientist, man.”

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A couple who were expected to shine but who did not are presumed (until last night) likely front runners Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee failed to bring anything worthwhile. The only other non-politician besides Trump was retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. He showed up empty-handed, as well.

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The debate before the debate was at 5 p.m. Central time, and it featured those few who failed to make the varsity team. Only Carly Fiorina stood out at the small table, which featured former Texas Governor Rick Perry, in what was possibly his last political appearance prior to his trial on felony charges in Texas.

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This is not the last debate of GOP candidates. In the next we can expect to see some of last night’s ten to be watching on television. It’s also possible that Carly Fiorina will join the big boys next time. Keep reading.

Too Hot to Trot

Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr

Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr

When you’re hot you’re hot. When you’re not, then … Then you’re really OK.

This came up on The Five, a Fox News commentary program:

Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle believes that young, attractive women should be excused from voting so they could devote their time to online dating.

“It’s the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea. They don’t get it!’ said the co-host of ‘The Five” on the right-leaning news channel’s daily talk show.

Guilfoyle, 45, who helped pay her way through law school modeling for a variety of retailers including Victoria’s Secret, said young, beautiful women don’t have the proper “life experiences” to have a say in who holds elected office.

Instead, they should only be granted the privilege after they’ve gained wisdom from raising children, paying bills or dealing with real-world issues like a mortgage and health care.

‘They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world,” said Guilfoyle.

“[H]ealthy and hot and running around without a care in the world.” You’ve got my interest already. But not vote? Where have I heard this before?

1. Women would be corrupted by politics and chivalry would die out
2. If women became involved in politics, they would stop marrying, having children, and the human race would die out
3. Women were emotional creatures, and incapable of making a sound political decision.

Of course, that’s not what Guilfoyle was saying. She was only saying that young, really hot, women should excuse themselves from voting. Ann Coulter was more recently saying this:

I think [women] should be armed but should not vote. No, they all have to give up their vote, not just, you know, the lady clapping and me. The problem with women voting — and your Communists will back me up on this — is that, you know, women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it. And when they take these polls, it’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.”

[Links removed]

First, let’s hope this is not a trend. That’s because this sort of thing, telling hot young women they should not vote, could be hazardous. Hazardous, that is, to those who choose to intone such advice. Take it from me. I have known a number of these hot young women. Had I dared to admonish one of them so, I could have expected dire consequences. How does having a four-inch spike heel driven through your thigh bone sound? That has got to hurt.

Let us suppose, just for the sake of argument mind you, that Guifoyle and Coulter are dispensing sound advice. Suppose a few years of maturity will reward hot young women with a deserved sense of judgment and an expanded world of wisdom. What should we expect to see?

goodless

Let start with Ms. Coulter. I have a copy of her book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, which we have seen before:

Coulter’s latest book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, hit the New York Times Best Seller List at number one on June 25th this year. If liberals are no longer squirming as much it could be because Godless takes an unfortunate detour into the real world and steps on some land mines that should be on everybody’s maps by now. It’s also a bunch of day-old bread.

Quotes from the book may illustrate the wisdom and maturity hot young women can expect attain with maturity:

Liberals’ creation myth is Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is about one notch above Scientology in scientific rigor. It’s a make-believe story, based on a theory that is a tautology, with no proof in the scientist’s laboratory or the fossil record—and that’s after 150 years of very determined looking. We wouldn’t still be talking about it but for the fact that liberals think evolution disproves God. [page 199]

Imagine a giant raccoon passed gas and perhaps the resulting gas might have created the vast variety of life we see on Earth. And if you don’t accept the giant raccoon flatulence theory for the origin of life, you must be a fundamentalist Christian nut who believes the Earth is flat. [page 214]

Darwiniacs do not have a single observable example of one species evolving into another by the Darwinian mechanism of variation and selection. All they have is a story. It is a story that inspires fanatical devotion from the cult simply because their story excludes a creator. They have seized upon something that looks like progress from primitive life forms to more complex life forms and invented a story to explain how the various categories of animals originated. But animal sequences do not prove that the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection caused the similarities. It is just as likely that the similarities are proof of intelligent design, creationism, or the Giant Raccoon’s Flatulence theory. The animal-sequence drawings allegedly demonstrating evolution by showing, for example, a little runt horse gradually becoming a grand stallion, are just that: drawings. [page 226]

Nor are intelligent design scientists looking at things they can’t explain: Quite the opposite. They are looking at things they can explain but which Darwin didn’t even know about, like the internal mechanism of the cell, and saying, That wasn’t created by natural selection—that required high-tech engineering. By contrast, the evolution cult members look at things they can’t explain and say, We can’t explain it, but the one thing we do know is that there is no intelligence in the universe. It must have been random chance, or it’s not ‘science’. [page 245]

It may be too much to hope that with maturity would come some scientific knowledge and an appreciation for rational argument. These quotes are cited in the entry for Coulter’s book in Wikipedia:

Coulter’s reliance on intelligent design and creationist sources for science, has prompted some critics of the intelligent design movement to analyze her claims. P. Z. Myers, countering Coulter’s claim that there is no evidence for the theory of evolution, points to the scientific literature that contains hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of articles about various aspects of evolution. He also argues that Coulter has it backwards: The issue is not whether there is evidence that supports evolution theory, but whether there is evidence that is explained by evolution theory, since theories are explanations for data. In response to Coulter’s citing of Jonathan Wells‘ arguments concerning peppered moth evolution, Ian Musgrave argues that Coulter misrepresents the significance of the peppered moth experiments, makes a number of factual errors, and a “wildly ignorant misrepresentation of evolution.” James Downard criticized Coulter’s favoring of secondary sources over primary sources, saying “she compulsively reads inaccurate antievolutionary sources and accepts them on account of their reinforcement of what she wants to be true.”

Media Matters for America responded to Coulter’s “strawman” arguments against evolution by noting 11 types of “distortions” in her writing and going into detail explaining why her claims are false and contrary to science. A satirical account of Coulter’s take on evolution was written by probabilist Peter Olofsson, whose tongue-in-cheek argument was that Coulter had in fact written a veiled criticism of the intelligent design movement, much like Alan Sokal did to the postmodern movement in his famous hoax.

[Some links deleted]

I don’t need to stop with Guilfoyle and Coulter. Examples abound:

Few are more stridently conservative than Schlafly. Besides her noted political conservatism, she is a near fanatical anti-feminist. Wikipedia notes “In March 2007, Schlafly said in a speech at Bates College, ‘By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape.’”

And, I don’t need to stop here, but I will. What I may have demonstrated is that wisdom is not a necessary consequence of maturity. These women have demonstrated that adequately. Regarding whether hot young women can possess wisdom and solid judgment, there are ample examples to attest to it. Women like Guilfoyle who disagree may risk public ridicule. Men who disagree may risk a swift kick in the nuts.

People Unclear

GodNeedsMoney

See what I mean? I’m constantly telling people that I’m not about to run out of this kind of stuff, and people like Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt are constantly coming forward to reassure me I’m still on track. Here is what Earhardt said recently:

Law abiding citizens who come to the South need to understand there is a culture in the South of disobeying the law. People from other parts of the country who come to the Sourh need to abide by our accomodation of stupidity.

Those are not Earhardt’s exact words, but she said the same thing, only using different language, which I will reproduce here:

Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt on Wednesday lashed out at atheists who had asked that Christian plaques be removed from public schools in Texas, saying that they “need to understand the culture” in the South.

And I think, growing up in the South, people in Wisconsin, these atheists in other cities need to understand the culture in the South, and how church is a very integral part of our childhood and growing up, and it’s a very important part for the Southern culture.”

I can attest to the truth of Earnhardt’s dismal view of the general level of intelligence in the South, in this case Midlothian, Texas. Although the region south of the Ohio River doesn’t have a lock on this kind of stupidity and lawlessness, at times it does seem to celebrate it inordinately. Recent examples abound. Here is just one:

The parents of a Buddhist student are joining forces with the American Civil Liberties Union to sue a public school board in north Louisiana, alleging their son was called “stupid” and given low marks for not adhering to Christian doctrine taught in his 6th grade science class.

Sharon and Scott Lane are the parents of three children enrolled in the Sabine Parish School System in rural northwest Louisiana. In a complaint filed Wednesday (Jan. 22) in U.S. District Court, the Lanes argue their son “C.C” became the “target of proselytization and harassment by faculty and administration” at Negreet High School when it became apparent he was not a Christian.

Illegal actions of the teacher involved and those of the school administration were so blatant that this case never went to trial. The school subsequently entered into a consent decree which requires the school to end religious proselytizing and to accomodate students of varied cultures.

The consent decree, a court order agreed to by both parties, ends a lawsuit filed in January by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Louisiana on behalf of a Buddhist sixth-grader of Thai descent, “C.C.,” who was harassed by staff and students because of his faith.

“No child should feel that a teacher is trying to impose religious beliefs, and this agreement ensures that this will no longer be the case at Sabine Parish schools,” said Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “We’re glad the school board worked with us to bring this matter to a quick and amicable resolution.”

Under the consent decree, the school board must end official prayers during class and school events, refrain from disparaging any particular faith, and prohibit staff from teaching creationism and other biblical doctrine as fact. The consent decree also protects students’ rights to express their faith and pray privately and of their own volition. To ensure that the consent decree is carried out properly and that the constitutional violations do not recur, the board will also conduct in-service training for staff on First Amendment issues and the effects of religious discrimination on students.

Meanwhile, up north in Mount Vernon, Ohio, science teacher John Freshwater taught religious-based creationism as science and engaged in Christian proselytizing in class. That chicken has finally come home to roost as recently announced by the NCSE:

The case began in 2008, when a local family accused Freshwater, then a Mount Vernon, Ohio, middle school science teacher, of engaging in inappropriate religious activity and sued Freshwater and the district. Based on the results of an independent investigation, the Mount Vernon City School Board voted to begin proceedings to terminate his employment. After thorough administrative hearings that proceeded over two years and involved more than eighty witnesses, the presiding referee issued his recommendation that the board terminate Freshwater’s employment with the district, and the board voted to do so in January 2011. (The family’s lawsuit against Freshwater was settled in the meantime.)

Nearly ten years ago the Dover, Pennsylvania, School District prepared to introduce Intelligent Design, a well-known religious concept, into the science curriculum. That ended with a suit brought by parents of students in the school. The suit resulted in a loss by the school district at heavy expense to the tax payers. The case was tried in federal court, and the trial judge additionally chastized members of the school administration for their perjured testimony. Judge John E. Jones III concluded in his 139 page decision:

  • For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the religious nature of ID [intelligent design] would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child. (page 24)
  • A significant aspect of the IDM [intelligent design movement] is that despite Defendants’ protestations to the contrary, it describes ID as a religious argument. In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity. (page 26)
  • The evidence at trial demonstrates that ID is nothing less than the progeny of creationism. (page 31)
  • The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory. (page 43)
  • Throughout the trial and in various submissions to the Court, Defendants vigorously argue that the reading of the statement is not ‘teaching’ ID but instead is merely ‘making students aware of it.’ In fact, one consistency among the Dover School Board members’ testimony, which was marked by selective memories and outright lies under oath, as will be discussed in more detail below, is that they did not think they needed to be knowledgeable about ID because it was not being taught to the students. We disagree. …. an educator reading the disclaimer is engaged in teaching, even if it is colossally bad teaching. …. Defendants’ argument is a red herring because the Establishment Clause forbids not just ‘teaching’ religion, but any governmental action that endorses or has the primary purpose or effect of advancing religion. (footnote 7 on page 46)
  • After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. …It is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research. Expert testimony reveals that since the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena. (page 64) [for “contrived dualism”, see false dilemma.]
  • [T]he one textbook [Pandas] to which the Dover ID Policy directs students contains outdated concepts and flawed science, as recognized by even the defense experts in this case. (pages 86–87)
  • ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID. (page 89)
  • Accordingly, we find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom, in violation of the Establishment Clause. (page 132)

No, Ms. Earhardt, sane people coming into a region of chaos in this country do not have to accomodate lawlessness and idiocy. The American legal system protects us from the lawlessness, and public exposure and ridicule protects us from the idiocy. On that second point I am not always sure.

People Unclear

ObamaRe-elected

It’s beginning to appear I’m never going to exhaust the supply of this stuff. This latest is from psychiatrist Keith Ablow:

Ablow started by explaining that from his perspective “as a psychiatrist,” Obama thinks he’s a “citizen and a leader of the world” who doesn’t belong to one country and “perhaps least of all this country because he has it in for us as disappointing people. People who’ve been a scourge on the face of the Earth. And so for him to then say we’re going to seal the borders and protect Americans when in my view, in his mind, if only unconsciously, he’s thinking, ‘Really? We’re going to prevent folks suffering with illnesses from coming across the border flying into our airports when we have visited a plague of colonialism that has devastated much of the world, on the world? What is the fairness in that?’ I believe Barack Obama is thinking.”

He continued, speculating that the president believes America shouldn’t be immune to Ebola when “others are suffering, when we are a bad people.” As evidence of Obama’s supposed anti-Americanism, Ablow cited “the apology tour, having heard his wife say, you know, when they were campaigning that she hadn’t been proud of America until her husband was, you know, had his sights set on the presidency. With him, you know, attending a church where the pastor said ‘God Damn America’ and the rest of it. It all fits, doesn’t it? … How can you protect a country you don’t like? Why would you?”

Of course, I find this to be most depressing news. Imagine. Our president is “anti-American,” and we’re just now finding that out. Call me a left wing liberal if you want, but had I possessed this information earlier I would not have voted for Obama. Certainly not twice.

Left wing liberal that I am, I’m going to give this item some Skeptical Analysis. Let’s start with “just who is Keith Ablow?”

Ablow was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the son of Jeanette Norma and Allan Murray Ablow. Ablow attended Marblehead High School, graduating in 1979. He graduated from Brown University in 1983, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science degree in neurosciences. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1987, and completed his psychiatry residency at the Tufts-New England Medical Center. He was Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology in psychiatry in 1993 and forensic psychiatry in 1999.

While a medical student, he worked as a reporter for Newsweek and a freelancer for the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun and USA Today. After his residency, Ablow served as medical director of the Tri-City Mental Health Centers and then became medical director of Heritage Health Systems and Associate Medical Director of Boston Regional Medical Center.

[Links deleted]

Those seem to be rock solid credentials. Maybe we should listen to what Dr. Ablow has to say. Of course, that would include some of this, again from Wikipedia:

Ablow has made a number of controversial statements, including psychological assessments of various celebrities he has never examined, that have drawn criticism from other practitioners in his field as well as from various organizations and groups which were offended by his comments. Ablow has stated in an article on the Fox News website that years ago he “resigned in protest” from the American Psychiatric Association, which is the governing body that sets the standard of practice in the field of psychiatry and publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In the article, he did not state what he had been protesting about, but expressed his disagreement with various entries in the DSM.

Articles by Ablow later clarified that he worried that the American Psychiatric Association had stood silent while the psycho-therapeutic skills once learned by psychiatrists were left out of current training regimens. He also agreed with leaders in the field like Paul McHugh, MD, and Phillip Slavney, MD, that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (published by the APA) was oversimplifying human experience and pathologizing it.

In April 2011, Ablow wrote a health column for FoxNews.com which criticized designer Jenna Lyons for publishing an advertisement in the J. Crew catalogue in which she was depicted painting her young son’s toenails hot pink. Ablow wrote that gender distinctions are “part of the magnificent synergy that creates and sustains the human race”. The column sparked a controversy around his claims that painting a child’s toenails pink could have an effect on their gender identity and led to accusations of overreaction, as was reported upon by numerous news media sources. Ablow refused to back down, even re-posting the column on his Facebook page.

During the 2012 Republican primary, Ablow wrote a column arguing that Newt Gingrich’s three marriages actually made him more qualified to be president. He wrote: “When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one.” The column was criticized, with Rod Dreher of The American Conservative commenting thusly: “Oh for frack’s sake. At some point, you have to wonder when shamelessness crosses the line from character defect to psychopathology. If only Dr. Leo Spaceman were a Republican, he could have a lucrative career on Fox.”

Ablow later clarified that his position was that one’s private sexual life should remain private and that dissecting the sex lives of public figures was counterproductive and salacious.

On August 12, 2014, as a guest co-host on the Fox News show, Outnumbered, Ablow criticized the weight of First Lady Michelle Obama, stating, “she needs to drop a few [pounds].” Ablow continued his attacks on an August 21, 2014 segment, telling the women panelists on the show that they also need to lose weight.

On October 9, 2014, concerning the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Ablow opined on Fox News that he believed the president “may literally believe we should suffer along with less fortunate nations. And if he does, that is a very dangerous psychological stance from which to confront Ebola”. [25] He also claimed that President Obama was not protecting the United States from Ebola because his “affiliations” and “affinities” were more with Africa.  His Ebola comments drew criticism, including from Fox host Greg Gutfield of The Five.

[Some links deleted]

Oh, rats! It is possible that between graduating magna cum laude from Brown University and the present Dr. Ablow has lost a few brain cells. This is potentially a tragedy of the first order.

The Media Matters item additionally relates Dr. Ablow’s take on the president’s inner psyche:

ABLOW (AS OBAMA’S “PSYCHE”): “You miserable people have destroyed so much in the world in terms of good things, and now you’re going to build a wall? Really? To insulate yourself from things that are devastating other nations when your gains are ill-gotten? And the very fact that you can build a wall — you’re using wealth that you never should have had to build it. This is just another manifestation of you didn’t build that, business. Right? You didn’t build the right to make yourself immune from something that is devastating a country with lesser resources.”

Some of you reading Dr. Ablow’s remarks naively—taking them at face value—have possibly become concerned over his current condition and his prospects for future employment. Put your mind at ease. Dr. Ablow, while not necessarily stabilized, is safely secure regarding his employment prospects. For those concerned about his future, The Washington Post has wonderful news for you:

Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow, who recently accused President Obama of performing poorly against Ebola because of his “affinities” with Africa, was signed to a new contract with the network in late September, Fox News has confirmed to the Erik Wemple Blog. A Fox News contributor since 2007, Ablow has a history of making some of the more out-there statements on a network whose commentary frequently lifts eyebrows.

Though Ablow’s renewal came before his comments on President Obama and Ebola, it came after Ablow posited that the purpose of last summer’s World Cup was “to distract people. This is like Rome . . . I can see why Obama would love the World Cup.” He also told Stuart Varney of Fox Business, “It’s a little too convenient when we have a president who, I contend, has it in for Americans, and we elected him because we were fearful at the time — we better elect someone who’s not very patriotic because, God, we could have terrorists attack us for being Americans. OK, so, we did that.”

Fox News fans out there, keep watching. Skeptical Analysis fans, keep reading. There’s sure to be more to come.

Go West

From Media Matters

From Media Matters

It’s been over two years since (now ex) Congressman Allen West popped up on my radar. I think I may have been disrespectful of him at the time, likening him to a Heinz 57 candidate, an allusion to the sparkling portrayal by actor James Gregory in the movie The Manchurian Candidate:

Angela Lansbury practically stole the spotlight from Frank Sinatra. The movie was a Cold War thriller about a “brainwashed” American soldier turned assassin. Lansbury’s on-screen husband is played wonderfully by James Gregory as lame brained Senator John Iselin, who is instructed by his domineering wife to proclaim there are (pick a number) communists working in the Defense Department. Ultimately Senator Iselin confronts his wife over breakfast and demands to know just how many communists. This he does while pouring Heinz ketchup on his breakfast eggs. Lansbury eyes the ketchup bottle and comes up with the number. Later Iselin is addressing reporters to announce there are 57 communists working in the defense department.

This was shortly after then-Congressman West was telling us how many (number varied) communists were serving in Congress as Democrats.

Anyhow, those were the fun days.

No wait. The fun days are back:

Fox News contributor Allen West, who has previously called President Obama an “Islamist” with unclear “loyalties,” is now calling on the military to ignore orders from its commander in chief.

The Military Times reported that the Department of Defense will expand an existing program, Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI), to allow recruiters “to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills, mostly rare foreign language expertise or specialized health care training.” The program “is capped at 1,500 recruits per year. Officials say it’s unclear how many of those might be unlawful DACA status immigrants as opposed to others who are also eligible for military service under MAVNI, including those with legal, nonpermanent visas such as students or tourists.”

No, that’s not what the fun is all about. What the fun is all about is what retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West had to say about it. Again from Media Matters:

West, a retired Army Lt. Colonel whose service ended in controversy, reacted to the news on his Facebook page by writing that “Barack Hussein Obama took out his pen and ordered our Military to enlist illegal aliens. In other words, this charlatan has allowed those who have disrespected our Constitution and are not citizens to take an oath to support and defend the very document, our rule of law, of which they are in violation.”

He added: “This is an illegal order and should not be followed by our Military.”

Here is Allen Wests’ Facebook posting on the matter:

Morning folks. While you were sleeping, Barack Hussein Obama took out his pen and ordered our Military to enlist illegal aliens. In other words, this charlatan has allowed those who have disrespected our Constitution and are not citizens to take an oath to support and defend the very document, our rule of law, of which they are in violation. Obama has no constitutional authority to make any laws or rules concerning naturalization as stated in Art I Sect 8 Clause 4. This is an illegal order and should not be followed by our Military. As well, we are pink-slipping men and women in uniform, Americans, and Obama wants to enlist illegals. We are already outsourcing our national security to Syrian Islamists. This is intolerable and just another reason why we must flip the Senate and begin to reverse Obama’s tyranny. Any Democrat supporting this illegal order needs to be voted out!

The Military Times relates the details that so dismay Allen West:

On average, the military recruits about 5,000 noncitizens each year, nearly all of them permanent U.S. residents, or so-called “green card” holders. Starting in 2006, DoD began accepting some foreigners with nonpermanent visas, such as students or tourists, if they had special skills that are highly valued.

After entering military service, foreigners are eligible for expedited U.S. citizenship. Since 2001, more than 92,000 foreign-born service members have become citizens while serving in uniform.

The MAVNI program began in 2008 and remains a pilot program. DoD notified Congress on Thursday that the program, which was due to expire at the end of this fiscal year, will be extended for another two years and will for the first time include DACA-status immigrants.

In the foregoing DACA stands for Deferred Action for Child Arrivals. These are typically children of illegal immigrants. They are people who, due to their age and the manner they were brought into the country, are not classified as criminals.

Over 50 years ago I served a standard tour in the Navy Reserves and observed back then we recruited a number of foreign nationals into the Navy. As a college student following my active service I had a room mate who was a Mexican citizen. After graduation he entered the United States Army.

According to the Times, “The military services are not required to accept recruits under MAVNI.” That leaves me wondering what Allen West is all about with “This is an illegal order and should not be followed by our Military.” It could be this is something known only to Mr. West.

In the mean time I am wishing we could have James Gregory back. We have a wonderful new role for him. The script has already been written.